Origins of Linux
The Linux variations grow out of the 1991 Linux kernel, written by Linus Torvalds. Other elements of various versions are most often traceable to the GNU operating system. GNU stands for “GNU’s Not Unix,” the appearance of which allowed fulfillment of the aim to create an operating system that was both free and open source.
How Linux Works
Linux systems, referred to as Linux distributions, like UNIX systems, are modular, using a similar approach and design philosophy. Like UNIX, a Linux distribution has a kernel, in this case the Linux kernel, which works with a library, core utilities, tools, and a graphical user interface (GUI). Linux distributions are used in desktops and supercomputers, as well as being a popular choice for servers.
In combination with Apache, MySQL, and one or more languages from the group Perl, PHP, and Python, Linux distributions form the basis of the so-called LAMP server-software, the name being formed from the initials of the key elements. LAMP serves as the infrastructure of web servers and is a kind of solution stack of software.
Choosing Linux Web Hosting
It was reported in fall of 2006 that 80% of web hosting companies deemed reliable were running Linux distributions on their web servers, but by summer 2008, the figures had changed, with Linux distributions responsible for 50%, FreeBSD having 30%, and Microsoft 20%. Nevertheless, shortly after those figures came through, it was determined that Linux was used on nearly 85% of the 500 top supercomputer systems.
All this means that you will have no trouble finding Linux web hosting. Nevertheless, do not assume that all of a web hosts servers are Linux servers simply because they offer Linux, and be sure to compare different web hosting plans. Depending on your purposes, you also may wish to find out which particular Linux distribution is being run and/or whether LAMP server-software is being used.